by Jullie

March 11, 2021

Best Bouldering Crash Pads Product Reviews

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Editor's Choice

Mad Rock Duo Pad Crash Pad

Overall Rating: 5/5

The Mad Rock Duo is simply one of the most proclaimed pads out there. The Mad Rock Duo is large at 56 x 42 x 5 inches and 17 lb, but not too heavy even with its impressively thick foam padding. 

Mad Rock Mad Pad Crash Pad

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Mad Rock Mad Pad is a 48" x 36" x 5" inches and 13.78 lb pad, which is great for a smaller, more cost-effective option. This pad also offers the convenience of a waist belt, handles, and shoulder straps.

Black Diamond Mondo Crash Pad

Overall Rating: 5/5

The Mondo Crash Pad comes from Black Diamond Equipment, which has an impressive reputation in the climbing industry. The Mondo pad is 35.43 x 23.62 x 23.62 inches and only 8.33 lb.

If you love climbing, then you are probably searching for the best bouldering crash pads. We know how important it is for climbers to have the most reliable crash pads out there.

We have picked the five best bouldering crash pads out there, and we are going to tell you everything you need to know about them. By the end of this, you will be able to climb with peace of mind. Below we will give you reviews of five bouldering crash pads, buying advice, and crash pads FAQs. 

All of this information should help you to make the best possible decision when buying your pad. Whether you are new or experienced, this guide should help you understand everything you would need to know.

List of the 5 Best Bouldering Crash Pads

#1 Mad Rock Duo Pad

The Mad Rock Duo crash pad is simply one of the most proclaimed pads out there. The Mad Rock Duo is large at 56 x 42 x 5 inches and 17 lb, but not too heavy even with its impressively thick foam padding. 

This advanced strap arrangement allows you to carry an extra pad with no problem. It features comfortable straps, handles, pockets, and even a mat for cleaning off your shoes. 

Since this pad is larger, thick, and has comfortable portability, this would be a great pad for larger climbs.

However, this pad is not the best for shortfalls. Its foam is great, but it takes some breaking in first. It can lead to some discomfort if falling for a short distance.

Pros:

  • Thick foam;
  • Comfortable carrying options;
  • Additional features, such as a mat for shoes;
  • Can bring extra pads as well.

Cons:

  • Shortfalls can cause discomfort.

#2 Mad Rock Mad Pad Crash Pad

Mad Rock Mad Pad is a 48" x 36" x 5" inches and 13.78 lb pad, which is great for a smaller, more cost-effective option. This pad also offers the convenience of a waist belt, handles, and shoulder straps.

If you're looking for a bang for your buck, this is a great choice. Many reviewers stated that the Mad Rock Pad is the cheapest, most durable option out there for climbers. This pad is probably the best for beginner, smaller climbs.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective;
  • Waist belt, handles, and shoulder straps for convenience;
  • Great overall reviews;
  • Bestsellers rank out of the 5 at number 3 in climbing crash pads on Amazon.

Cons:

  • Not too soft.

#3 Mad Rock R3 Crash Pad

The Mad Rock R3 Crash Pad encompasses a new fill feature that allows the pad to lie completely flat. It folds easily over features. It also has a dampening effect to help with the impact of falls.

The rugged 1680 denier nylon shell construction is said to make this the most durable pad out there. It also supports eco-friendly solutions since the baffles are made from recycled EVA/PU foam that would typically be collected and shipped for disposal.

The EVA foam is ideal for a softer, safer landing. This crash pad would be great for experienced climbers.

Pros:

  • Supports eco-friendly solutions;
  • Dampening effect for falls;
  • Able to lie perfectly flat and folds easily;
  • Construction is supposedly the most durable.

Cons:

  • Some reviewers suggest the quality is poor

#4 Black Diamond Mondo Crash Pad

The Mondo Crash Pad comes from Black Diamond Equipment, which has an impressive reputation in the climbing industry. The Mondo pad is 35.43 x 23.62 x 23.62 inches and only 8.33 lb.

This makes this pad the smallest out of the pads that included dimensions and weight. It is also the most expensive due to the brand. This pad is really lightweight and small, so portability is a huge plus.

Pros:

  • Smallest, so easily portable;
  • Great brand and reputation;
  • All six reviews are 5 stars;
  • Claims best climbing and related spots gear.

Cons:

  • Not a lot of information.

#5 PETZL Alto Crash Pad

The PETZL Alto Crash Pad includes three layers of foam of different densities and structures for the best protection from falls. The Alto Crash Pad is 46 x 39 x 4 inches, adjustable bandolier and multiple handles, make it easily transportable.

Its fabric is also waterproof and ultra-durable. It also features chest and waist adjustments and wide shoulder straps for comfort on the go.

It's a little bit more expensive but will definitely keep you safe on higher climbs. The durability and portability are great. This is even more impressive due to the size and thickness of the foam.

Pros:

  • Comfortable features;
  • Easily transportable;
  • Great protection from falls;
  • The folding system protects the foam.

Cons:

  • Some reviews state it isn't durable.

Best Bouldering Crash Pad Buying Advice

1) Crash Pad Categories

The size of the pad is a clear sign of safety or danger. It can be difficult for a middle ground in this category because the size can be helpful large or small. The smaller the pad is, the more comfortable it will be carrying.

The larger the pad is, the more space it will cover. You can categorize these pads by supplemental, regular, full, and oversized. For higher climbs, choose full or oversized.

2) Foam Types

Foam types can be categorized by open or closed-cell. Closed-cell would make the padding more firm and harder on impact. Open-cell would be soft and allow air to enter and exit. There are combinations, though. Such as the Mad Rock R3, which is made out of shredded, recycled closed-cell foam.

3) Foam Layering

The most ideal layering technique for foam would be a top and bottom layer of firm foam to take force and send it to the middle, soft layer while also preventing bottoming out. This also stops moisture from getting into the pad since the closed-cell does not absorb water.

Bouldering Crash Pads

4) Pad Thickness

The general rule you should follow is the bigger the fall you could take, the thicker the pad should be. This allows enough space from you and the ground to reduce the chance of injuries. If you want to go pretty high, then we suggest 5 inches to ensure your safety.

5) Fold Types: Hinge, Angled Hinge, Hybrid Hinge, Taco

Hinge folds are made up of two separate foam sections, making a crease at the folding point. It preserves the pad and won't weaken the foam at the crease. However, this is also a disadvantage since a gap can form.

Metolius is currently the only company that makes angled hinge pads, but it could change. This pad folds out, then the top foam extends over the bottom while the bottom extends under the top. There is still a disadvantage, but it's a little bit better.

The hybrid hinge pad has a thin, continuous layer of foam on the top. However, durability is questionable after routine uses with this type of pad.
Taco pads do not have a way to fold in half since it is 4 to 5 inches of foam with no gaps. It's completely safe, but carrying can be challenging without the gap.

6) Closure Systems

Closure systems come in three styles: buckle, flap, and zipper.
Buckles, like on the Black Diamond Mondo, are easy to secure during carrying but aren't necessarily safe for smaller items.

Flaps are great for carrying other items safely and even a second pad. These are overall preferred over the three closure systems.

Petzl is currently the only brand using the zipper closure system. Zippers are great for carrying small items inside. However, zippers are not durable whatsoever.

7) Portability: Suspension System and Carry Straps

Portability is a large concern with pads. When looking for a suspension system and carrying straps, look for the most support. Try to find the more comfortable straps possible, as well as handles and other features.

8) Weight

Most pads weigh around 10 to 20 lbs. Weight is an essential consideration depending on how far you are traveling. Carrying anything heavier more than 10 minutes or more would wear you out before you even get to climbing. Try to find a decent weight with a good layer of foam to ensure safety and convenience.

9) Organization

When climbing, you need multiple items. From the pad, chalk, climbing shoes, and more, you will want to keep your items organized. Pads that come with pockets are always a huge plus. 

Closure systems are good for the organization since it will keep your objects from dumping out and getting all over the place. Flap closure systems are the most preferred system. It will help keep you organized.

10) Durability

Crash pads are made for crashes. It's important for your safety that you pick a durable pad and store it in a way that will preserve its durability. When storing a crash pad, always lay it flat with no objects (especially heavy objects) on top of it.

Keep it out of hot conditions while storing. Also, remember to keep it clean and dry. All of this should keep your bouldering crash pads durable and safe for your climbing adventures.

Best Bouldering Crash FAQs

1) What is a bouldering crash pad?

A bouldering crash pad is foam padding that prevents climbers from hurting themselves while climbing. Crash pads have different types of folding, features, and foam that a climber can choose from for their preferences.

A crash pad should be used at low or high climbs to keep everything from minor to extreme injuries. It can also be used as a carrying device for water, shoes, chalk, and more. Read our complete guide for beginners about what is a bouldering crash pad.

2) How to repair a bouldering crash pad?

The best repair for bouldering crash pads is upkeeping them. Crash pads require maintenance to keep them functional. You should always brush off any dirt and allow it to dry before storing it. You also should never store it compressed.

Allow it to open and don't have anything on it while storing. Don't store it in hot conditions, it can break down the fabric and foam. If there is a hole, you should fix them as soon as you are able to. This is to prevent water or anything else from reaching the foam.

If your crash pad has a gap in between the creases of the foams, then you can get a smaller pad to lay on top for safety. Keeping up with your crash pad is important to keep you safe and climbing.

3) Which crash pad do I need when bouldering alone?

When bouldering alone, it's best to put safety first. We would suggest the PETZL Alto Crash Pad because of its extra foam padding and a large area to fall into.

The comfort from the carrying systems would help keep you from getting worn out before you begin climbing as well. In general, look for great foam padding, large size, and portability.

4) How thick should a crash pad for bouldering be?

The thickness you need really depends on how high you plan ongoing. Remember the rule: the higher you go, the thicker the pad should be. If you are going pretty far up, five inches should do the trick.

If you are going high, also remember to get a bigger surface area as well. It will also help keep you safe.

Conclusion

If we could tell you which crash pad to get, we would. However, which pad is right for you is something only you can decide. You know how far you are traveling, the height you could fall, and what your preferences are. It's important to choose a pad that will ensure your safety and comfort.

Even an experienced climber should continue to learn about the types of crash pads to keep up with the advancements and maintenance a pad needs. Pads are an essential part of the hobby of climbing because it keeps you safe and has multiple more benefits.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn and understand more about the process of choosing a crash pad. Have fun, and choose the bouldering crash pad that will keep you safe!

Our #1 Product Recommendation in the Best Bouldering Crash Pads Category

About the author 

Jullie

Jullie is a professional indoor climber. She loves speed climbing competitions. This style makes her feel like she's flying. Maybe because her other passion is flying airplanes. Obviously, high speeds are her thing.

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